The railway freight data for December 2021 indicates a sharp jump in cement despatches MoM basis. Freight data show that volumes transported through railways are up 23% MoM in December 2021.
(Figures in million tonnes)
However, in comparison to last year, transported volumes in December 2021 were down marginally by 1% as the volumes witnessed headwinds in Central, South and East during the first half of the month. The demand recovered gradually over the course of the month with sharp bounce-back in second half of the month. Volume in December 2021 as against September 2021 reported a growth of 14%. The cumulative volume for April-December 2021 and October-December 2021 period was up 28% and 3% as against the volumes transported in April-December 2020 and July-September 2021 period respectively. On a QoQ basis, volume transported in the third quarter is marginally higher by 3%as compared to second quarter.
Historically, December has been an important month for the industry as the demand during the month sets the momentum for the peak construction period of January-June. Considering the price action during December, manufacturers may wait at least till mid-January for any further price hike. Also, they have another worry to deal with, i.e., possible Covid third wave.